Asia (MNN) — What do the people of Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan have in common?
“95% or more are Muslim, and most of those have never heard the Gospel,” shares Bruce Allen* of Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI).
Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan hold a combined population of 580 million people. That means one of every 12 people in the world lives in one of these three countries. Furthermore, two-thirds of the world’s Muslims live in 10 countries: Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Algeria, and Morocco.
Simply put, ministries operating in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan have a significant opportunity to reach the Muslim world for Christ.
Enter: Forgotten Missionaries International.
Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI)
FMI exists to support indigenous pastors in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan who are telling unreached people groups about Christ and planting churches in these communities. They empower national missionaries instead of sending missionaries from Western nations.
“We find the guys who are trained, who are passionate about God’s Word, and want to reach their own countrymen with the Gospel,” explains Allen.
“Pioneer evangelists have gone in, done the evangelism and the outreach; [the men] we’re partnering with are literally the ‘forgotten’ missionaries.”
With financial support from FMI, pastors are able to stay in ministry. This support is especially important during the early years of church planting, when congregations are often too small and too poor to support their pastor.
“Rather than have them get discouraged in those years, our partners here in the U.S. say, ‘We will support you financially so that you don’t leave the ministry in order to feed your family,'” Allen says.
Throughout the Muslim world, Ramadan is a significant holiday. It’s also a great opportunity for indigenous believers to teach Muslims about Jesus.
“It’s a time of heightened awareness…because the Muslims at this time are praying about connecting with God and trying to ‘revitalize’ any sense of spirituality,” explains Allen.
“Muslims are more open to spiritual conversations, especially if relationships have already been built.”
As the last week of Ramadan begins, pray that missionary pastors will have a chance to introduce Muslims to Christ.